Reforms have no finishing line and the growth will lead to development?
Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister of India, claimed that India needs a series of economic reforms and reforming economy is a continuous process. There is no finishing line, he claims.
We do understand the processes must be tweaked and adapted to the current situations, but the continuous reformation of anything without the end in sight is an irresponsible way of dealing with it.
That is where the Finance Minister is wrong. India cannot go for an entire overhaul of the economy without understanding the structural problems in its depth and breadth and any attempts to overhaul without understanding it is bound to fail.
India saw major economic reforms in 1991. Indian economy was opened up in that period leading to integrating Indian economy with the global economy.
The Bretton Woods twins, IMF and World Bank, were born after the World Wars were aimed at the reconstruction of the economy of the defeated nations and create a sound global economy.
India is the member of these international bodies and it is also an active member of WTO. While we can go on negotiating with the international bodies to gain from the agreements taking into account our domestic developmental needs, India needs to concentrate on structural issues: the issue of productivity, the issue of quality, the issue of developing manufacturing sector, the issue of unemployment, the issue of health, the issue of poverty and inequality, the issue of discrimination inherent in India’s businesses, and more importantly the issue of education and access to education for all the citizens.
The sound economic progress is possible only when the Government concentrates on non-economic factors such as education, health, sanitation, dignity, and equity.
What Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is doing is going away from the basic theories of economics. The RSS/BJP Government is shrinking the role of the Government in education, health, sanitation, dignity, and equity.
The member of the Niti Ayog, Amitabh Kant, is advocating a very strange view of privatising education and education. Actually, he is speaking the mind of the Government.
The Government only wants to “reforms” the sectors that will benefit its clients: the upper castes in India. India needs to have the ends of the reforms clearly stated with a clear definition of the underlying problems.
Why is the Government failing to address the issue of unemployment? Why is the Government failing to address the issue of access to quality education? Why is the Government failing to address the issue of health? These questions must be addressed.
The economic theories proved that growth does not lead to development, which involves removing poverty and providing access to education. It is also proved that poverty alleviation requires targeted policies; the RSS/BJP Government has none to address the issue of structural poverty which is the outcome of India’s structural social exclusion.
While the RSS/BJP Government is creating entry barriers for the OBCs, SCs, STs, and the minorities, it is boasting of reforms. Reforms for whom?
Yesterday, the OBCs were denied reservation in promotion in Maharashtra. If the majority of the Indians have no access to organs of the Government, the Government will be cornered by the minority Brahmins.
The Finance Minister knows how to mask the real issues with words and his legal training, but he must understand that if he is to be worthy of the post, he must do some real work for the people of India.